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Building Communities of Change with Areej AbuAli

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Areej AbuAli- digital marketer, founder of Women in Tech SEO, conference speaker and change maker - talks to Mo about the power of community, how to build a strong community and dealing with the pitfalls, and the importance of visibility of diverse groups for driving change within industries. The marketing world has a long way to go, but Areej is doing incredible work to help move it forward. And Allegra brings us this month's What Fresh Hell Is This? report. 

Thanks to Plus Accounting and the Business and IP Centre Brighton & Hove for sponsoring this episode. 

Hello and welcome to the reimagination at work podcast from watch this space. This is the podcast where we as lots of questions in, write interesting guests and ask you to challenge what you think about the world of work and Reimagine a future that includes everyone. This episode is sponsored by Plus Accounting, a firm of experience charted accountants based in Bryceton, hove. They offer a comprehensive range of tax and accounting services, so whether you're just starting out or thinking about selling your business, they can offer you the support and guidance that you need to keep control of your finances. What makes them stand out from the crowd is there you genuine interest in you and your business. They take time to understand what's important to you and then tailor their services to your requirements. And for this episode I'm absolutely thrilled to have a wonderful guest. I have a reg Abrut Ali from women in Tech Seo, as well as many other things. I know you're a very busy person who is joined us for this episode, so welcome. Yeah, thanks so much. It's so great to be here. Thanks for inviting me. Yeah, it's really great to actually meet you in person. Well, N Zoom, but talk to you, because I'm we've exchanged lots of sort of thoughts and social media post so it's a great to actually talk to you in persons. I thanks so much for joining us and so we're going to have a good chat about you and all of the wonderful things that you do. Let me great to start with if you can introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you. Yeah, happy to so. I'm a reach based on the UK, in Kent at the moment, very very close to London, and I moved to the UK a little bit over eight years ago. I'm actually born and raised in Egypt. So I've been doing digital marketing SEO primarily for the last seven or eight years, though, and I started my own women in tech seal community a little bit over two years ago. So currently my full time job is heading up Seo for a global ECOMMERCE friend and then my evenings and weekends are spent on growing women in tech CEO as much as I can. And what's your view of the world of Seo Right now in terms of, you know, diversity and opportunities? Yeah, I think, I mean, I hope it's getting a little bit better. I feel like it's something that a lot more people are talking about now. I remember when I first started going to seo conferences a little bit over five or six years ago, they were predominantly very white and very male heavy, specifically in the Technical Seo tracks as well. It would be very, very rare for me to find anyone who represents me in any way at all, and that was a little bit demotivating for sure. I feel like lately, maybe in the last two or three years, a lot of people have become much more vocal about it and a lot of conferences and agencies and so forth have really become more forward about making sure that they diversify, whether it's their speaker line up or their teams or so forth. So I think in general, like whether it's with women taken seo or other communities as well, they are coming out that are speaking up more about this. It's definitely something that's being addressed and there's a little bit more awareness. We're still nowhere near where we should be, but it's definitely become better than what it was a few years ago. Yeah, I agree with you and that I think things are improving, but still so far to go. On this. There really is. Yeah, so I'm tired about why you started women in Tech. Say out a bit more about it. Yeah, so we've been going on for a little bit over two years, though, and, to the very, very honest, answer is just purely selfish. I was...

...starting to feel really demotivated and I didn't know whether I wanted to continue being an SEO. I was always like I had very high imposter syndrome in terms of I'd never want to go on twitter and ask a question where people would think, Oh, you know, how could she be a tech Seo who doesn't know the answer of such basic things? I was really struggling to find like a networker community that felt like a safe space where I could ask things and not I'm not shy away from that, and so I just decided to kind of well, if I'm not finding that, then maybe I need to kind of start my own community and hopefully we can build some of that together. And so I just I put out a tweets and I was like, Oh, we're going to take a seew rejoice, we now have a space, and it initially started off just as a facebook group and in the first few days we had a little bit over a hundred women join us and I was like, okay, I guess this is something that a lot of us were looking for then. And Yeah, it's just been it's been growing ever since and a little bit down the line now, two years it's a little bit over four thousand members in total, which is crazy from all around the world. But yeah, purely selfish reasons, is the reason I actually start today. Wow, so it shows you the power or social media actually, cause social media gets bad press, isn't it, by being quite a negative thing. Actually, this example shows how you can grow community and grow connections. For Yeah, one hundred percent. I think everything we've done in terms of like growing it has purely been through social media. So twitter has had a very, very big hand and then in the last year we started sharing a lot of things and like amplified a lot of our members through linkedin and all of our groups right now. or It's a completely free community, so we use things like facebook and free on slack, and all of that is completely free to use. And Yeah, definitely social media has I've never liked paid and marketing or advertising or anything along those lines. Yet, so purely organic quie social media for sure. Well, that's amazing. So all free and you haven't spent money on it. So it's your time, essentially, that's gone into building this. Yeah, and and so you touched on a couple of things that you do that, but tell us a bit more about what the community does, because I know you do a lot about amplifying members, don't yeah, so I think when we first started out it was just this idea of here's a safe space where anyone can ask any question that they want, and I put a few rules and values from the very start to make sure that everyone is being super kind. Everyone who identifies as a woman is more than welcome. It doesn't matter if you were just heard about the word SEO or if you've been doing it for several years. I had to start putting some rules around. There is no such thing as a stupid or a silly question, because I started noticing people with caveat their questions that way when they ask them. And then, yeah, so initially was just purely focused on you know, here's the space for everyone to kind of ask any questions they want, answer anythings others want. And then in the first year I really focused on London events. So we were doing London meetops. I wanted to make sure that we are getting as much first time speakers as we want, because my aim was, you know, this is a this is a safe space for you to do your first talk and then you go from there and you could kind of pitch to the likes of prtines, SEO and so forth. And then when, when lookdown happened, we then switched everything to be fully, virtually so, which really helped with our global audience, I'd say, because everyone can be a part of it now. So we started hosting more events, where now we have like every two weeks, we host like the welts workshops. And then after that it was then the idea of okay, well, what other programs and initiatives should we roll out? So we started doing mentorship program cohorts that would be focused on this idea of, you know, women being both mentors and Mente's and supporting one another. And I'd say probably the last six months has has really been focused on more of the concept of like how can we amplify our members even more, because it reaches a point where all these brilliant, awesome women are doing brilliant awesome...

...stuff, but it's stuck away in our community, and so this is where we started things like our newsletter, our podcast, so different initiatives where anyone in the world can basically tune in and get to know a lot of these awesome women through that. I mean, it sounds like a lot of work all of this. Have you got people in the community involved in running it as well as a community ran? Yeah, so I kind of suck at that and I know that I need to ask for more help. It's not something I've managed to do yet. What I have done so far, though, is I tend to partner up with people on different projects. So, for example, with the PODCAST, I have a cohost who is her name is Sarah Mcdowell and she's awesome. She had her own SEO podcast for about two years, which I absolutely loved, and I just gave her a call and said, I want to do a podcast, you do a podcast, like why don't we just partner up together? And so, for like the mentorship cohort, we hired the pro a program trainer for that, so she kind of helped run weekly check ins, trainings, things like that. Something I'm definitely keen on doing to make it scale more is the idea of having like community heroes. So I've kind of been thinking about like how to structure that and how to place that. I'm a little bit of a control freak, which treats us, but I know that in order for it to scale, I can't continue being the only one who's, you know, moderating and running things, and also I'm limited at the end of the day and the ideas that I come up with. So the more people I work with, the more ideas we will be able to generate. So definitely something for me to do over the next few months. All right, so if anyone listening he wants to get involved in how will a share all of your contact details of people to get involved? Yeah, and I'm telling me that more about the mentoring program because that that's obviously people voluntary their time to how does that come out and how has it worked? Yeah, it's something that I wanted to do from the very start and it took me a little bit over a year to kick off the first cohort and I think what really inspired it is I saw a poll was done by I think it was Jackie shoe on twitter and she was asking, have you ever been mentored by I think men or women previously, and a lot of people voted and said actually, their previous mentors were men, and it got me thinking. I was like whom? No, I you know, I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of brilliant women who can mentor others, and I think the funny thing is what ends up happening in these types of mentorship programs is that women tend to sign up as mentees but meant and to sign up as mentors, and so I kind of want to, you know, challenge that a little bit. So I opened the mentorship cohort is like meant to be around. I think the first one was only two months. A second one we just wrapped up with three months, and it was this idea that mentors fill and applications. Mentis filling applications. I'll then do like a wantone match making process based on, you know, what things mentors want to enter on with things mentis want to get mentored on. And the first cohort had two hundred matches. So they're two hundred mentors, two hundreds, and then the second cohort that we literally just wrapped up was a little bit longer and it only had a hundred matches because I wanted it to be much more focused. But yeah, the I'd say that's probably one of the proudest projects I've done so far. We Winn in Teke Seo. It was received so well and we had all sorts of like success stories coming out of it in terms of, you know, whether it was mentis who are listally just starting out in their career and they realize like what track they want to go into, whether it was mentis who are looking for more like promotions and wanted to get some more experienced to talk to them about it. But yeah, absolutely love it and definitely something I'd be keen to do more off but it's funny, every time I open up the application form, I always get much more men teas signing up than I do with mentors. And sometimes, you know, it requires a lot of push and encouragement where you know you are an absolutely brilliant woman. There's so much for you to offer. Please do sign up to be a mentor. But yeah, we do. We do say we only require two hours pinimum a...

...month because we completely understand like how much time that takes, but appreciate like all the time and energy that both mentors and Mente's put into it because, yeah, it's fully voluntary for people to be and what we try to do from our end is, number one, amplify them, but number two, just give them as much training as we can so that hopefully, like this, helps them as well in future. That's so interesting that less people sign actually mentors, isn't it fascinating? It really is. Yeah, yeah, every time I opened application form I get some of the smartest, most heart working women ever message me directly and be like, you know a region, I really want to sign up to be a mentor, but I don't know if I'm put enough for I don't know if I have something to offer. And I'm like what, this is insane, because you know, you are so accomplished, you're so smart, you have so much to offer. So but every time that happens and then they do go ahead and they sign up, afterwards they're like yeah, you, Oh my God, you were completely right, like wow, you know I felt and everyone's like, oh, that match was perfect, it was made. But it's like everyone has something to offer, even if you've only been doing this for a year, a little bit more, like your experience is always going to be very different and very unique to others. So yeah, yeah, really interesting and kind of what ambitions and aims do you have women into Sei Future? Yeah, it's a tricky one, that one, because I feel like for me to deem women in tech a SEO successful project is probably when the day comes when we no longer need women in tech. CASTEO right, it's one of those things that actually relate that a lot with definitely or work as well, but I think until then, you know, it's the idea of how can we how can we continue to scale and grow, and something I really want to do as well as I'm I'm conscious that a large majority of our members are purely from like UK, US and so on. How can we reach more of a global type of audience? The idea of potentially having different chapters set in different countries. So that's it's more like local based. We had some communities that got born out of our community. So Latin as an SEO is a really good example. Absolutely love all the members from there and they only kicked off their initiative, I think two or three months ago, but they had very honest conversations with me where they said, you know, women in tech a SEO is awesome, but it's so different from everything that's happening in Latin America and we need to be speaking to each other in our language. And so I think, you know, in a way, if it continues to inspire, like other initiatives like that, to be born more locally, where people can kind of connect with each other on a level that they're not able to on such a global community, then that's definitely went for me. Yeah, that's interesting, because Seo such a global thing. You know, every country is going to have people working on I guess, but but it's going to be different as well in each region and it different things going on, different conversations. Yeah, yeah, definitely, and I think even though in the UK, like we know, we're still like so far away from where we should be, but the fact that I can imagine it be, like me being Egyptian, for example, I know for a fact how much more difficult it is. Like I see some SEO agency starting out in Egypt where every single person who works on there is a guy. So you know, so there's probably a lot more like problems when it comes to equality and so forth that we're we're so far away from right now. So I can completely understand, you know, members from all around the world wanting to kind of discuss their own issues and see how they can, you know, have improvements around that. Yeah, and Hey, the question for you to the world of Seo is obviously something you enjoy because you're working in it, and are you seeing changing and you know why? Do you think young people should consider it? That's a career? Yeah, definitely. I think that's the thing that's exciting about Seo and makes everyone, like, feel very excited about it. It is always changing, like the Seo I was doing a few years ago is in no shape or form that Seo I'm doing now, and we're always having all forms of updates coming out and changes and it's it's one of...

...the most, you know, changing things that you can possibly be in. Personally, I'm someone who studied computer engineering and then did a master's degree in business and I found Seo this nice bridge between computing and business and marketing, and so I think, you know, a lot of young people would. There is a lot of, you know, diversity and what you're going to end up learning. There's sons of variety on the projects that you do. Something I always encourage people who are thinking about starting out in Seo is to definitely start out the Asian Sea side. That's how I started my career and I think you end up learning so much because you get to juggle so many things and work with so many people when you do that. So yeah, definitely one for and I think also because it has so many different tracks. So whether you want to specialize more in the technical side or the content side or the PR type of side, there is a lot that you can do and you don't need to define your niche right away, but you can kind of explore it more at a general angle before you decide, you know, what is it that you want to specialize in? Yeah, I think that's a thing about it. It's got so many different aspects to working in Seo and I realize what we should have said right beginning is, for anyone who doesn't know what the acrona means, Sei re search engine optimization. We should have said that right in the start. Yeah, okay, thanks so much. We're going to take a short break and cut to the what fresh hell is this report? Hello, and welcome to this month's what fresh hell is this report? This week, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told us all about the meeting he had with England football star and unofficial leader of the opposition, Marcus Rushford. He described Rushford as engaged, compassionate and charming. It then transpired that Williamson hadn't met Rushford after all. He'd been speaking with England drugby star and entirely different black man, borrow it's Hoji. Williamson presumably wasn't able to tell the two men apart because the zoom screen didn't enable him to see that they play with completely different shaped balls. A man has been given just four years in prison for murdering a woman, with the sentence being so low because he claimed that she liked rough sex. Sam Pibus Strangled Sophy Moss, but said that she likes to have pressure applied to her next during sex. And apparently we can't expect a thirty two year old man to know the difference between rough play in bed and squeezing a woman's neck so that she can't breathe for so long that she dies. Sophew mosses just thirty three and had two young children. Our thoughts are with her family. Pretty Patel is continuing her campaign to ensure no other migrants have the same opportunities that her family did, this time with plans to turn small boats making the channel crossing back into French waters. The French government have rejected the proposals, taking the view that safeguarding human lives at sea takes priority over considerations of nationality status and migratory policy. Sadly, Miss Patel, whose parents left Uganda in the nineteen sixty s before I d armine ravage the country, disagrees. The Daily Express carried the story on their front page, reporting how pretty tail would deal effectively with French failings on migrants. Without a shred of irony. They placed next to it a photo celebrating the success in the US Open of Emma Raducanu, the eighteen year old who was born in Canada to Romanian and Chinese parents but who is totally British because she wins stuff. In another display of superior humanness, the French government has created a special fast track citizenship scheme for workers who put themselves at risk during the pandemic. This scheme has seen twelve thou workers fast track through the system. As Citizenship Minister Mylina Supa said, frontline workers responded to the cord of the nation, so it is right that the nation takes a step towards them. The country pulled through thanks to them. That's it for this month's what fresh hell is this report? Hi, everybody, Allegra here another one of the CO creators of which this space. I want to tell you all about the business and Ip Center Brighton and Hove. They are based in the...

Jubilee Library in Brighton and they are transforming the way ideas grow into successful businesses. The business and Ip Center at Brighton and Hove is supporting a thriving community of entrepreneurs, inventors and SMS across Sussex. Whether you're just setting out, need advice on protecting your intellectual property or have a brilliant idea you want to discuss, they're here to guide you. They offer insight and access to free databases, market research reports and expert advice. Find out more at Brighton and Hove Dot Gov dot UK. Forward, slash BIPC back to my great thanks for that and and a reade and lots more to talk to you about. So I'm wonder what I really want to discuss with you is events and speakers. Events and subjects that are discussed at events and what your thoughts are and how that's changing. Yeah, so one of the things we started, I think it was our one year and versary, was you started the speakers hub on our website and it currently features a little bit over two hundred and fifty women. And the reason I started that is I started becoming so frustrated by how, whether it's an event I'm interested in attending or whether it's an event I'm invited to speak in, it is predominantly, you know, white male, barely has any form of diversity in it. So I think there's a lot of work to do there in terms of it's almost like before, you know, before you start selling to kids, just kind of take take a second and think about, you know, how diversified is your is your speaker lineup, because that also reflects on your audience and who ends up attending, because seeing the lineup like this always the turns me, and I'm sure the turns a lot of other people from from attending. So I put the speaker up together so that organizers don't have an excuse anymore. Yeah, and it's like, you know, if you say this is, Oh, will will we don't know any women. It's a CEO who would just like now there's two hundred and fifty of them who filled speaker cards and put them up, who are saying they're interested in speaking. So and I think other than that also it's the idea of, you know, there's going to be more like richer conversation shared, more knowledge sharing if you if you bring a lot of people who kind of look exactly the same, then they're going to end up sharing a lot of things that sound exactly the same. So it's a win win win in all situations. So I think there's a lot that can be done. Lately I have seen some conferences that have had, you know, very, very nice splits. We sometimes it even reaches like a fifty type of Split. But I'm only thinking about it from a gender perspective, which is a tiny, tiny thing to think about. There's a lot more that can be catered for, whether it's even clearly from an accessibility perspective or things along those lines. Yeah, and now there are any particular events that you see that are doing a good job in this? Yeah, so I think burts in Seo has definitely like really set the standard there. I they don't ask me to do this, ever, but every time I'm about to attend one of their events, I love to go on their speakers page and I just love to count and see what the ratio is. The last one summary Did. Yeah, I loved it. I just couldn't believe it because I think it was the one before the last one it was almost fifty and then the most recent one they had is the highest I've ever seen, a sixty percent women representation, and I just couldn't believe I was like, this is crazy. But the thing with Burtin Se as well is that they always encourage and they always prioritize first time speakers, like I got my first speaking Gig up Art Tennessee, Oh, and I find that amazing because they've got such a big stage and they've got such a big audience and the fact that they give these opportunities to first time speakers, and think is any first time speaker is going to do five or ten times what you know a season speaker would do, because for them it's such a huge opportunity that they want to give...

...it their role, and so you notice it because the quality of the talks always ends up being really good. And really, really strong. So yeah, definitely huge shout out to write an a seal for doing that. I think they've mosque one as well in the US. They always ensure diversifying. I've barely ever seen a less than a fifty split and their speaker lineup as well. Yeah, that's fantastic that and those are too examples I would have picked out to that. I think they really focus on that and I think one of the things is encouraging first time speakers, because that's the way to encourage different kinds of people to try and speak at these events. And why not? Yeah, and you mentioned your speaker. Have that you have for whom an intact guess? Yeah, so if somebody wants to speak at an event and they're scared and not sure what to do, is that something you help people with? Yeah, so we haven't done specifically like speaker type of training, but one of the things we've done through the mentorship program is one of the tracks is if someone is interested to learn more about public speaking or becoming vest your speaker. So we always have that as an option where mentors can choose to enter on this and mint he's can choose to be mentored on it. But what we've also done is we've hosted somewhere chops that were on public speaking. So we've had Christie halls, we've had the past not bottom, who's absolutely awesome and she's done a lot of like speaking type of food camps. I always recommend shine. So they're based in Canada and they do all kinds of like global and virtual events now and they are, you know, the ultimate speaker root camp who they really take, you know, first time speakers and kind of have all of these different like speaking mentors and they walked them through this whole camp. So yeah, definitely tons of resources that have been started and initiated by women as well, which is awesome. Yeah, what do you think about calling out events? So I see people do it sometimes on twitter. I don't link to as well. You know, they see a speaker line up and say, wait a minute, that's not very diverse line up. So what's your thoughts on that? I do it and I do it all the time and I mean it's one of those it's really difficulties in it because it's not about it's not really this idea of, you know, how let's all kind of publicly shame them and so on. But but it honestly, it works. One example that comes to mind had an awful, awful, awful line not the first time round and I called them out and I showed like screenshots of what their lineup looked like and I calculated the percentage and so forth. Their next one, which they run six months later, was completely different and it had a lot of first time speakers and had a lot of women and it had tons of diversity. And so for me like sure, it's a little bit difficult but you know, some some event organizers do take it on board and do make changes the next time around. Also had something very similar. Happened to a conference where I was invited and I always ask when I'm first invited, you know, what's the lineup reply, what's the percentage split, because I don't want to be the only woman on board or, you know, the only diverse woman of color or so on, and I was told Yeah, you know, it's and they gave me a number, I think, or something. And then afterwards when actually when the website went live with Speaker lineup and so on, it was not at all what we had said. And again I got very disappointed. I initially like removed my speaker application from it and then they still continued advertising it as if I was in it. So then I called them out publicly and so I got a lot of apologies about it the Lallah and then the next time around again, the speaker lineup was completely different from the first time around. So it's not my favorite, you know, thing to do, but I do think it's really, really important because I feel like I've personally seen it work and I've personally seen organizers the next time around, you know, make sure, but then it doesn't necessarily mean these organizers, but...

...everyone else who's listening. I think the more we talked about this, the more they'll be like, oh, okay, I'm organizing my own event in a few months. I should probably prioritize this because I don't want to be called out, and that's fine. It works. Yeah, and I think it sometimes how you do those things as well, I. How you call people out on it. That makes a difference, and then you see it sometimes in responses that people do respond and say, okay, you know, thanks pointing that out. And obviously there are those that don't accept that and and don't like being called out, which is kind of brings me to another question to you about social media. So do you social media can be fantastic? You know, you wear in your community through it. Have you experienced negatives behaviors on social media and how do you deal with that? Yeah, so, I think specifically even with women in tech, Cascio, it's interesting, isn't it? Because so we have like a big annual conference that we hosted right before lookdown. We managed to do it in London, so lucky it was a few weeks before lookdown and it was, you know, it was the first annual conference I do and and then the second time around we did it it was during lookdown, so it was more virtual. This is our only like paid ticket conference that we host and our conferences, as are all our events and our community in general, is open for anyone who identifies as a woman. And every time I announced that conference, I get a lot of dudes telling me that what I'm doing is illegal and that you know the fact that I'm getting, I'm it's a paid event, and they send me all types of like Gov dot UK documentation that it's completely illegal for me to be discriminating against genders when it comes to paying for an event or or things along those lines. And and, to be very honest with you, I initially freaked out. I was like, oh my is this, is this true? Is this real? And you know, and when I then spoke about it to like some lawyer friends of mine and so forth, I realized actually, because when you think about it, like there are all of these like clubs and so forth, that yeah, it's so it's the same idea. So of course it's not. It's probably just people being pissed that they can't attend an event or something like that. But so I get a lot of that all the time. Sometimes I get like these weird anonymous type of emails that get sent to our main women in Tech Seo Dotcom, emel that are just telling us like everything we're doing is crap and things along those lines. But, to be honest, like, I don't I try to not let it get to me. Of course, every now and then it's a bit like it's just, you know, here we are, we're trying to do something really good and really important and really helpful for so many people and you know, why do you have to why do you need to come in and, you know, say these things and so forth. But yeah, I'd see majority like ninety, even up to ninety five percent of the time everything is super positive and we do have a lot of allies who love to support us and spread the words and even sponsor us at times. But you know, every now and then you do get some of that feedback and some of these comments and so on. I guess in a way it's flattering that they want to attend your events. So Yeah, interesting. Yeah, and then I'm really interested to hear your thoughts generally about the world of work. So see, things change a lot during the pandemic and there's been a lot of talk about out going back to work and back to the office, whereas you know, for everyone's been working through the pandemic. So interested today or thoughts on what you think about kind of the future of work and going back to the office. Is Your company encouraging that, for example? Yeah, so my company switched to it's like a hybrid type of model right now where we're required in the office twice a week and it's up to us to pick, like which two days these are, and it's it's still kind of open where if people still feel uncomfortable, then it's open, you know, towards the end of the year so on, and we have like flexible working arrangements where if someone definitely doesn't want to do the twice a week, they...

...can discuss switching their contract completely to like a remote contract. But yeah, I've seen so many companies kind of switch gear and I think also it comes to being how competitive it's going to start the coming because so many companies have been like, okay, we're going to go completely remote, some have said, you know, it's going to be fully flexible, it's up to people what they want to do, and then others have kind of maintained the same. So I think what's going to happen is it's going to start becoming very, very competitive that if people don't have the flexibility they want, whether that flexibility means I like coming in the office or it means I like working from home or it means I like doing a bit of both, then they're simply going to look elsewhere because, you know, there's there's tons of opportunities out there and so many companies are taking a lot of different tracks. I do think it will get better than what it was, is, where it was very, very, very forced and very force means it's not inclusive in any way whatsoever. So whether like, whether you you know there's someone you need to take care of, whether you have a disability, whether it's a lot of money, whether you're working mom or working dad or whatever it could possibly be, the fact that we always had to be in like from line to six, with at the fact that it was always so difficult to just even take a single work from home day. I don't see that happening down the line anymore because, you know, we have proved that this system doesn't need to be in place for people to continue doing the work that they need to be doing. And and so I think, you know, a lot of like team leads and so forth, have come to realize that finally. Yeah, it's interesting, how if they have, because I've seen a lot of people talking about insisting on their employees going back to the office, and it's like what if we haven't learned anything from this whole experience, it'll be such a shame to just go back to how things were. And I do do you think, with working remotely that there is do you think it encourages diversity, or do you think there are some negatives to as well in terms of people missing out on being included in things. Yeah, I mean I think it definitely encourages diversity in terms of, you know, it opens it up a lot more to people who might in general, whether it's they struggle with their commuter or they have very different schedules or, you know, they have to take care of others and so forth. So it definitely helps a lot with that. I can totally understand the idea that, you know, I've heard a lot of agency losses see that recently, which is, you know, for people who have just graduated, they don't get to experience the whole concept of, you know, starting in a company and team culture and working with others. That's why I do think, you know, having that flexibility in places great like I, I get everything I want from just seeing my team like once or twice a week, and so I think, you know, having some of that stuff set in place. And it's we had a little bit over a year where none of us saw each other, you know, and we had a lot of new people joined here and there and and it worked. So it's just about the fact that, you know, how can we continue like fostering that culture, and I definitely see the pros and cons in both. But you know, how do we establish like a my balance that that keeps everyone happy? Yeah, I think that's it. I think it's learning from the experience we've had and creating something that is inclusive, so includes different methods for different people, because everyone's different. I think some people have really missed that interaction of being in the office, whereas others have been quite happy not to and it's interesting, like with your community, I think it's going to be more of that. I think people would discover kind of other types of community that might not be the office culture. Community might be different. There more about their interest so that they are drawn to more people that they can network with in a different way. I think yeah, definitely, one hundred percent. And you know, there's a lot already, a lot of people from all around the world you kind of work on their own, like freelancers, consultants and so on, where it is really important for them to be able to find this form of community or network that's outside your typical type of workplace, because it means you get to connect with others and you get to bring storm and you get to ask questions and and all...

...of that stuff is so important and doesn't necessarily need to only be restricted, you know, with people you work with. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, and I'm just so, what advice you have anyone he's considering a career in Sei, like, how should they get into it? What kind of training do you think they should do? Yeah, I can't think of a single Seo who started out and, you know, and receive training prior it's I feel like with Seo you just have to be naturally curious and willing to learn and become part of something that is constantly changing. I've learned everything I need to learn on the job, but in the first, you know, few months to one to two years, is usually when you cram as much information as you possibly can and then you start deciding, okay, what do you want to specialize in and what do you want to focus in more and what do you want to learn more about? There are so many amazing resources out there. Now, at least the solace has her brilliant like learning Seo. The IO, which literally is a full road map, takes you all the way from the beginning to the end and then it takes you like down different tracks, and all the resources she's related and included in that are completely free, which is crazy, but I love her for that. She always does tons of stuff like that. And other than that, like there's lots of events and things to get started. My advice is always for people to go agency side, as I mentioned, because I think agencies are always welcoming people who are whether their first graduates from school or UNI or whatever it might be, and you get so much training when you join an agency and you get to, you know, learn from so many people and work with a lot of people and test your ideas on a lot of different sites and so forth. So that's definitely my recommendation for someone who's, you know, who's starting out and and just be naturally curious and don't get overwhelmed by the amount of, you know, information out there. Take it a little bit at a time and, you know, find people that you can look up to and and that you respect and ask them as many questions as you possibly can. Yeah, great, and it's we strikes with one of those careers that, if you learn it and become skilled in it, then the ceremony opportunities to progress your great, as are so many kinds of companies you could work for as well as agency sign it just seems such a broad tractor. She's yeah, for sure. Yeah, definitely. I mean five years after doing agency side, for me, like I moved in house and initially I was working for like an aggregator type of company, and then recently I moved ecommerce. So until now, like I'm still learning so much, even though I've been doing this for a bit over seven or eight years now. And that's you know, that's the cool thing, because you don't want to be working at something where you feel like, I know everything that needs to be done, you know, I can do my job with my eyes closed. You you want to continue working in something where you always feel challenged, you always feel like you're learning new things. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, sounds really interesting. Are Thank you so much. Now tell us where people can find you and where they can find women and take Seo. What are all the links? Yeah, so women to take U CECOM. You'll find everything you need there. You'll find how you can access our facebook group or slack community. You'll find interviews that we publish on a weekly basis with brilliant women. You'll find our podcasts. You'll find everything you need there, and then on twitter, we are at tech sor women. You can also find us if you look us up on instagram and on Linkedin. And then for me, I'm on a reach of our ECOM and I'm also on twitter at a eache underscore a buy. Great. Thank you so much. So everyone can look you up and connect with you for sure. Great. Thank you so much. We've been a fantastic and interesting guests and really interesting subjects to talk about. So this has been the reimagination at work podcast from watch this space. We are watch this space dot UK and on social media we're at watch this spe and we will speak to you next time. Fine.

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